BS7858:2019 Vetting Requirements – Are you ready?

Are you ready?

It is important to know that the BS7858:2012 standard has been replaced with the new BS7858:2019 standard and will go live when BS7858:2012 is withdrawn on the 31st March 2020.

What are the BS7858:2019 Vetting Requirements?

Before looking at the changes to the screening requirements in the new version of BS7858, it is important to establish what is the standard and who may require this. BS7858 is the code of practice released by BSI (British Standards Institution) that gives recommendations for the screening of individuals working in a secure environment where the security or safety of people, goods and services, data or property is required or where such screening is in the public interest.

Who needs BS7858?

This standard may be required to comply with accreditations such as NSI (National Security Inspectorate), SIA-ACS (Security Industry Authority – Approved Contractor Scheme), SSAIB (Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board) or certain ISO accreditations. Security companies form a significant proportion of the organisations utilising the standard, but it is also widely used within industries such as data destruction, utilities (smart meter program) or secure logistics. Typical roles and areas covered by the standard include ancillary staff, acquisitions and transfers, and the security conditions of contractors and subcontractors.

What checks are included in BS7858:2019?

The following checks are included in the latest version of the standard:
Identity, address and Right to Work in The UK verification in line with the DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) document guidance.

• Identity, address and Right to Work in The UK verification in line with the DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) document guidance.
• Employment, unemployment, self-employment and educational reference checks, covering the last 5 years
and verification of any gap periods if greater than 31 days.
• A financial probity check- includes bankruptcy, IVA and insolvency checks, checks for CCJ’s up to £10,000 and company directorship search.
• Criminal records screening – to a level of Basic disclosure, which details unspent criminal convictions and conditional cautions or SIA Licence verification.
• Global watchlist check. Cross-referencing the individual’s name(s) against various sanctions, watchlists and fraud databases, including, but not limited to, the HM Treasury’s consolidated list of financial sanctions’ targets in the UK.
• Recommendation to check social media backgrounds.

What are the main changes?

The previous version of the standard included a verified written character reference; however, this has now been removed.

Additionally, the new standard includes the following vetting requirements:

• Global watchlist check.
• Right to Work checks in line with DBS identity requirements (previously SIA identity requirements).

Due to the new and emerging technologies for assessing the character and suitability of individuals it is also recommended to carry out social media checks. Security & Vetting Solutions suggest to apply this to senior or public relation roles only, however this may be applied to all staff. Please let us know if you wish to include social media screening as part of your BS7858 screening package.

The standard also requires the employer to retain the candidates screening file as follows:

• For those unsuccessful in recruitment for 12 months.
• During employment – screening file retained during employment.
• After cessation of employment – specified records held for 7 years.

Another BS7858:2019 vetting requirement is that all people engaged in carrying out BS7858 screening should be trained for the duties envisaged. The new standard also suggests that the training should be reviewed at least every year to ensure that competency.


These are only some changes that will happen on the 31st of March 2020, however if you wish to find out more about all the changes, we are currently booking training courses for January 2020.

If your organisation requires BS7858 or you just wish to find out more information about this, please call us on +44 (0) 1962 600 110 or email to find out how we can help!